Seed security (Green Cotton and Cotton Cultivar Evaluation (CCE))
Both projects are based on the variety testing and participatory breeding of GMO-free organic cotton in India. Currently, organic cotton production in India faces a drastic decline, which can be explained by the expansion of genetically modified Bt-cotton cultivars. The Cotton Cultivar Evaluation (CCE) project focuses on the re-establishment of the GMO-free supply chain and the short-term identification of existing cultivars that are suited to organic farming conditions. The Green Cotton project aims for long-term improvement and adaptation by decentralized participatory breeding initiatives involving male and female smallholders. Thus, both projects for organic cotton seeds establish the long-term seed sovereignty of smallholders and secure global organic cotton production in the future. Close collaboration with local farmers and public breeding institutions in India will contribute to the agricultural sector's adaptation to climate change in the future. www.greencotton.org
Improving biodiversity (SYPROBIO)
The SYPROBIO project has been implemented to solve evolving food security and climate change adaptation problems within West Africa (Mali, Burkina Faso, and Benin). Soil fertility, seed improvement, pest management, agronomy, and socio-economics are the main targeted topics. Cotton cultivation represents one of the main income sources of smallholder farmers from these regions.
Productivity and profitability (SYSCOM)
The long-term trials of SYSCOM are based on the idea to research advantages and disadvantages of organic agriculture systems within the tropical region. In India, the research focuses on the comparison of cotton, soybean, and wheat crop rotations. Besides the long-term trials, SYSCOM supports “Participatory technology development (PTD)” that detects and implements locally adapted solutions for evolving problems within the organic agriculture sector. www.systems-comparison.fibl.org